STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY AMBASSADOR BOUBACAR DIALLO, G-77 COORDINATOR, PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA TO THE UN, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE'S JOINT DISCUSSION ON AGENDA ITEM 24 ENTITLED "ERADICATION OF POVERTY AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT ISSUES" AND ITEM 26 ENTITLED "AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT, FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION" (New York, 6 October 2021)
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, allow me to express the Group's appreciation to the Secretariat for the documentation, and relevant updates pertaining to the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the issues under consideration.
3. The eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions is at the heart of our development agenda. Significant progress was achieved in this front, during the last few decades. As acknowledged in the Secretary-General's report, extreme poverty was reduced from 1.9 billion people in 1990, to 969 million in 2017. Between 1990 and 2015, the global rate of extreme poverty fell from 36.2% to 10.1%. That is a significant achievement that cannot be ignored. Progress in recent years, however, has been much slower, even before the pandemic.
4. Progress has also been unequal. In the majority of least developed countries extreme poverty rates remained high, at 32.2%, in 2019. When taking into consideration multidimensional poverty index, which includes non-monetary indicators, such as access to safe water, food, education, electricity and other essential services, 1,3 billion people still lived in poverty in 2020.
5. The Group emphasizes that eradication of extreme poverty requires investing in policies that are in line with the 2030 Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement. The group takes note of the results United Nations Food Systems Summit in proposing new actions, innovative solutions and strategies to transform our food systems and deliver progress across all SDGs.
6. Ultimately, poverty reduction requires increasing the productive capacity in the developing world. We need to increase the production of vaccines, medicine equipment, agricultural and industrial goods as well as our strengthen service sector. Strengthening our productive capacities and diversifying our economies will lead to job creation, wealth creation and increase fiscal space for the implementation of social policies to fight inequality.
7. Trade is a powerful engine for economic and technological development. As we seek to recover from the pandemic, we must facilitate fair market access for products originating in the developing world, eliminate subsidies in developed countries, especially trade-distorting agricultural subsidies, and avoid the creation of new trade barriers under the pretense of social or environmental considerations.
8. The COVID-19 crisis has given us a strong push for innovation and digital transformation. Accordingly, the Group stresses that industrial development cooperation should include technology transfer for the developing countries, on concessional and preferential terms, in order to help developing countries better integrate into the global industrial, value and supply chains.
9. We emphasize that the road to recovery needs to base on inclusiveness and solidarity. We recognize that the pandemic has created tremendous fiscal challenges, even in the developed world, but we urge our development partners to live up to their commitments to spend 0,7% of their GDPs on ODA. This is a promise that is several decades old.
10. We will continue to support the Alliance or Poverty Eradication, launched in 2020, which serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, policies and best practices on poverty eradication. We encourage the Alliance to continue its engagement to promote international cooperation on poverty eradication and sustainable development.
11. It is with this in mind that Group stresses the urgency of accelerated efforts, as well as integrated, coordinated and coherent strategies at all levels to eradicate poverty. This must be complimented by a renewed commitment to strengthening international cooperation, solidarity and resource mobilization, with a focus on people relapsing or falling into poverty due to the pandemic, especially those in developing countries.
12. The Group of 77 and China underscores the link between poverty and inequality. We acknowledge that the COVID-19 pandemic has widened already existing inequalities. As such, we must urgently take targeted measures to address the root causes of poverty, hunger, all forms of malnutrition and maintain stable and unhindered food supply chains. We must take a people-centered approach, continuously push forward poverty eradication and improve people's livelihood, and enhance their sense of happiness, gain and security. We need to promote the realization of inclusive development for the benefits of all, focus on addressing the uneven and inadequate development among and within countries, and step-up rural development and revitalization, to leave no country and no one behind.
13. The overarching objective of our work on this item is to advance progress towards achievement of SDG 2: Zero hunger by 2030 through agriculture development, food security and nutrition. The Group recalls that the 2030 Agenda places the eradication of poverty and hunger among its core priorities and identifies sustainable agriculture and food systems as key drivers of sustainable development.
14. This month we will commemorate World Food Day under the theme "Our actions are our future- Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life". We laud the work of the FAO over these many years and reaffirm our support for this UN specialized agency.
15. The Group believes that efforts must start with the transformation of agriculture and food systems, as well as with the empowerment of rural people, small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers. These groups have the potential to help us double agricultural productivity and build resilience in food production systems, while eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity. More than ever, this pandemic has reminded us of the urgent need for efficient food systems that reliably deliver safe, nutritious, desirable and affordable food.
16. We remain determined to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition for all as a matter of priority and to end all forms of malnutrition, while ensuring sustainable and resilient food systems, promoting sustainable agriculture, including smallholder and family farming, that increases productivity and production, prevent food loss and waste.
17. The Group reiterate our call for developed countries to honour their official development assistance commitments and to support the national efforts of developing countries through predictable financial resources and technical assistance. The special difficulties of developing countries, especially the LDCs, SIDS and LLDCs, should be focused on.
18. In conclusion, Madam Chair, the Group of 77 and China looks forward to engaging constructively with our development partners during the deliberations on this item, with a view to getting back on track towards achieving a world free from poverty.
I thank you.